Observations On the Contrary

Thinking about Charles II

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2771 (Published 08 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2771
  1. Tony Delamothe, deputy editor, BMJ
  1. tdelamothe{at}bmj.com

    Charles II sometimes backed scientific evidence and sometimes backed belief. How different will the next King Charles be?

    The heir to the British throne has been at the centre of controversy again lately—for his last minute intervention to stop a building development he didn’t like and for the dodgy claims made for tinctures produced by his company.

    While Prince Charles has form when it comes to architectural scraps, the Advertising Standards Authority’s judgment against his company, Duchy Originals, broke new ground: its marketing was the first in the United Kingdom to fall foul of new European regulations governing alternative medicines (Financial Times, 6 May, www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5e108746-39d7-11de-b82d-00144feabdc0.html).

    One of Prince Charles’s objections to the new development was that it was unsympathetic to the nearby Royal Hospital, founded by Charles II. Which set me thinking about the reign of Prince Charles’s namesake. Building the Royal Hospital, a retirement home for British soldiers unfit for further duty, seems A Good Thing. So, too, does Charles II’s support of the fledgling Royal Society, formed within months of the restitution of the monarchy. …

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